Blood Glucose Levels: Get Curious

Blood Glucose Levels: Get Curious

Dinner is almost ready and it's that time again. You unzip your black pouch to take out a glucose meter. As you pull back the lever of the lancet, you think, "Gosh, I hope my blood sugar isn’t high again.”

Blood glucose testing is vital for people managing diabetes. leaving site icon Monitoring levels with a blood glucose monitor sheds light on the effects certain foods and activities have on their condition. If you live with diabetes, this information helps you and your care team gauge if your treatment routine and medications are controlling your disease. For people who take insulin, self-testing guides more accurate dosing.

Despite all the good tools to help people live well with diabetes, dealing with the disease every day can take a toll. Use these steps as inspiration to make it easier.

Shun the Guilt and Shame

Blood glucose levels can rise and fall. A high reading is likely to happen from time to time. When it does, some people believe they’re to blame. They may feel guilty or ashamed about an abnormal reading. These negative thoughts can derail your motivation to test. It's important to be positive so you can brush off setbacks, stay on track and enjoy better results. 

Curiosity Helps Improve Your Health

Understanding your body and how to take good care of it is one of the best ways to keep your diabetes under control. Be curious. Read. Talk with your care provider and others who live with the disease. Information is power. It fuels better self-care choices. It also helps you overcome many of the barriers that can make blood sugar testing difficult.

Can you relate to any of these barriers to testing?

  1. I don’t understand the purpose.
  2. I'm afraid my blood glucose levels will be used as evidence of “cheating.”
  3. It's too much trouble, too costly, too uncomfortable.
  4. I don’t know what to do with the results.
  5. I don’t want to know the results because that might mean I need to change my diet.
Take Charge of Your Diabetes

Tap into your inner strength. Arm yourself with these mantras. They can help you stay motivated when it comes to controlling your blood sugar.

Belief: I'm going to make time to test. I understand what my numbers mean and this information empowers me.

Feeling: I feel good knowing I made testing a priority. Now I have a better understanding about the relationship between the food I eat and my blood sugar.

Thought: I want to know how certain foods change my blood sugar two hours after eating. Writing down what I eat and testing my blood lets me know.

Action: I test my blood sugar to learn how my body responds to certain foods and how much I eat. I share this information with my diabetes team so we can make good care decisions.

Discovery: Testing my blood sugar two hours after lunch, I learned my body can tolerate only 60 grams of carbohydrates. When I consumed 75 grams of carbohydrates, my blood sugar reading was too high. Now I know why I feel tired when I have a bigger lunch.

When you test your blood sugar, you can base your self-care decisions on facts. Knowledge leads to better A1C levels and better management of your diabetes.

Sources: The Big Picture: Checking Your Blood Sugar, leaving site icon American Diabetes Association; Six Ways to Stay Motivated to Manage Your Diabetes Well, leaving site icon diatribe Learn, 2022; Is Blood Sugar Monitoring Without Diabetes Worth While? leaving site icon Harvard Health Publishing, 2024

Originally published 10/14/2016; Revised 2019, 2022, 2024